By the time Ozuna released his debut album, Odisea, on Aug. 25, he had placed eight singles simultaneously on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. Only two other acts — Joan Sebastian and Juan Gabriel, who have both passed away — have had more songs chart at the same time.
The magnitude of the feat isn’t lost on the 25-year-old Puerto Rican star who, far from penning simply feel-good dance tracks, has focused on, “from day one, writing songs people could identify with.”
The music speaks for itself. Odisea is a storyteller’s album from the very first track. On the album opening title track, Ozuna tells the story of his father being shot dead when the singer was only 3 years old.
“I was in the studio and from another studio I heard the intro to that song,” he tells Billboard. “I said, ‘This is the song I’m going to do for my father: ‘No one knows what I’ve been through…”
Ozuna sat down to speak with Billboard on the eve of his album release. Relaxed in a T-shirt and blue tracksuit, Ozuna opened up, sang for us and spoke about his musical influences (Frankie Ruiz, Romeo Santos, Juan Gabriel), the origins of his signature teddy bear (a gift from his daughter, but there’s more to the story), how he writes and, yes, how he gets those amazing hair dos.
Watch the full interview above.